Virender Sehwag believes the responsibility of the Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) humiliating defeat to Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Tuesday should be pinned on their openers, Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul, and no.3 batsman Aiden Markram. Virender Sehwag said either one of Mayank Agarwal or KL Rahul should have finished the game after facing 30-plus balls in the match.
He remarked that had Chris Gayle – who made way for Aiden Makram in the match – played and scored a half-century, he would not have let the team lose in the final over.
Virender Sehwag: Mayank Agarwal Should Have Finished The Game
In a thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match last night, Rajasthan Royals (RR) made an epic comeback, beating Punjab Kings (PBKS) by just two runs. Punjab needed just four runs in the final over to win the game but was stopped from their march towards victory by RR bowler Kartik Tyagi. Kartik Tyagi, the MOM, managed to take two crucial wickets and give away just one run in his final over spell.
Virender Sehwag said: “Singling out the player for defeat would be a bit difficult for this match. I would say that luck didn’t favor them but still if we have to pick someone, it should be Mayank Agarwal. If you are in form and scoring runs then you should finish the game and not leave it on anyone else… I always talk about Ruturaj (Gaikwad), he scored 89 not out, played 20 overs, even played the last ball and hit a six which probably won the game for CSK.”
The former India opener added: “Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul should do the same because that is the responsibility of the top-3. The new batsman doesn’t know much about the pitch or how to play on it but you are there for 40-50 balls. The team shouldn’t lose like this. If it was for Chris Gayle, I guarantee that if he had scored 50-60, he wouldn’t have let PBKS lose. He would have won the game for them.”
Punjab Kings cruised for the better part of their chase of 186 runs, with opener Mayank Agarwal scoring 67 off 43 deliveries and skipper KL Rahul, 49 off 33 balls. All that changed when the next two batsmen, Nicholas Pooran (32 off 22) and Aiden Markram (26* off 20), failed to rotate the strike in the last two overs and let the team fall short by just two runs.
Virender Sehwag: Aiden Markram Should Have Reached Out To The Non-Striker And Asked Him To Run No Matter Where The Ball Goes
Virender Sehwag explained: “He’s not out on 26 and didn’t play a single ball in the last over. He’s an international player, a senior player, it was his right to reach out to the non-striker batsman and say that he has to run [to rotate strike] no matter where the ball goes. You should have taken the strike back because you have already played 20 deliveries. I believe that’s another mistake.”
He concluded by saying: “Such mistakes don’t happen when MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are at the crease. Even from the outside a message should be sent that the non-striker should somehow take the strike back. If he had reached there, Punjab would have won. Tyagi was brilliant in the last over but Markram was at fault too.”
Nicholas Pooran (32) and Deepak Hooda were both caught behind and managed to frustrate Fabian Allen (0 not out) off the last ball as Punjab finished at 183/4. PBKS will now lock horns with SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday in Sharjah. Earlier, Rajasthan Royals slumped to 185 all out in 20 overs after being put in to bat. Punjab claimed seven wickets in the last six overs with fast bowler Arshdeep Singh ending up with 5/32.